Caring For A Family After Rehab
The work of recovery does not end with rehab in fact, in many ways, this process is just beginning. Although the family may feel stronger than before, the disease of addiction always includes the potential for relapse. Parents must be aware that if a child does turn back to drinking or using drugs, its not because they lack self-control or because rehab failed, but because addiction is a chronic condition that requires lifelong symptom management. Just as a child with diabetes requires continuous monitoring of diet and blood sugar levels, a child with a substance use disorder needs an ongoing maintenance program to reduce cravings for the substance of abuse and to reinforce coping skills.
In a similar way, parents need ongoing support in order to maintain the benefits of rehab. The core components of a rehab program include therapeutic services and support resources for the child and their caregivers after the program ends. The parents, legal guardians, and other concerned loved ones of a child in rehab must feel that they have a treatment team to help them in the event of a relapse or family crisis.
One of the primary gifts of rehab is to teach families that they do not have to feel alone when they are faced with the challenges of addiction. If you have been trying to cope with a childs drinking or drug use alone, its crucial to reach out to others for support before the problem begins to feel unmanageable.
What Is Addiction Myth Vs Reality
Over time, medical research has shown that the social stigma of addiction is based not on facts but on misconceptions of the nature of substance abuse. Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse confirms that addiction is a disease that arises from the brains response to intoxicating drugs. In the medical community, addiction is now viewed as a chronic condition that is comparable to diabetes, heart disease, or cancer in that it involves cycles of relapse and recovery, and requires continuous symptom management to maintain a state of health.
Do Invest In Your Own Recovery
Self-care is just as important as supporting a loved ones recovery. Participate in activities that bring you joy and spend time with positive influences. Participating in family recovery services and workshops will help you experience your own parallel healing process. Support groups, like Nar-Anon, are available for parents of addicted children. Here, you will meet other parents who are coping with their childrens addictions and learn strategies for healing alongside your loved one.
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Talking To Kids About Addiction
Feelings of shame, disappointment, frustration, and even anger are common in parents who discover that a child is addicted to drugs or alcohol. These responses are natural and should not be ignored however, communicating these feelings to a child or teenager in the form of accusations, judgments, or criticism will not help the healing process. When youre talking to a child or teenager about substance abuse, try to choose words that do not reflect anger or judgment. For example, if your child has a friend who abuses drugs, dont refer to that person as a druggie or junkie. These judgmental words will make your child defensive.
Your tone of voice can also make a difference in how your son or daughter responds to your talk. Kids may be young, but they are highly attuned to the way their parents speak to them. Hints of condescension, judgment, sarcasm, or resentment will quickly come through and may destroy the connection that youre trying to build in this discussion.
Ultimately, talking with a child about addiction is about trying to find common ground to build a connection. Your goal is not to criticize your childs behavior, but to help them recognize that there is a direct link between substance abuse and negative consequences, such as problems in school, difficulty learning, loss of friends, or loss of a part-time job.
Statistics On Children/teens Who Struggle With Substance Abuse
Alcohol is considered one of the most commonly used substances in the United States. There is data from numerous national surveys that document the use of alcohol among young adults. According to the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Study, it was discovered the following among the high school students during the past 30 days:
- 17% of the students rode with a driver who was drinking alcohol.
- 5% of the drivers drove after drinking alcohol.
- 29% drank alcohol.
- 14% binge drank.
Overall, the rates of current and binge drinking among high school students have been declining in recent decades. Even though males historically had higher rates in 2019, the female high school students were more likely to binge drink and drink alcohol than the male high school students. The other national surveys discovered the following information:
- 9% reported binge drinking in the past 30 days and 16% of young individuals aged 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol.
- 26% of 12th-grade and 7% of 8th-grade students reported drinking alcohol during the past 30 days.
- 12% of 12th-grade students and 3% of 8th-grade students reported binge drinking during the past two weeks.
Studies have shown a relationship between the drinking behaviors of adult relatives, underage drinking behaviors, adults in the same state and community, and adults in the same household. There is a relationship between adult and youth drinking, including binge drinking, in communities and states.
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What Are Treatment Options For Addiction
The continuum of care provides resources for parents of addicts. If parents can understand the details of what treatment has to offer, they will feel better equipped to help their children.
What parents can do is find out about the different types of treatment programs available for addicts and what might be most suitable for their child. Treatment options depend on several factors, including age, the severity of addiction, duration of use, time since last use, and co-occurring mental health disorders.
Learn Coping Strategies For Family Drug Or Alcohol Issues
, a program of SHARC runs a course called InFocus.
The InFocus course offers practical information, coping strategies, life skills and the opportunity for people to connect through their shared experiences.
The course is run by professionals who have also been affected by someones drug or alcohol use. It is generally held one evening a week over a six-week period. It provides relevant information about addiction, family responses, the change process and recovery.
Tel. for more information, or for over the phone advice and support.
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Help For Families Of Addicts
There are several sources of support for families of addicts. Some of these include:
- Al-Anon A version of Alcoholics Anonymous for family members of people struggling with alcohol addiction.
- Nar-Anon A 12-step program for families of addicts.
- SMART Recovery Family & Friend Groups An alternative to 12-step programs, SMART Recovery offers groups for loved ones of addicts.
Most treatment programs offer family therapy or family programs, whether by group or individual sessions. Topics are often educational, as well as skills-based to help you apply the knowledge toward your own recovery process. Examples of some of the topics covered in family therapy groups include:
- Setting healthy boundaries
- Family roles and dynamics
You dont need to go it alone. Whether you are a spouse, child, friend, or sibling of someone who is struggling with addiction, there are resources for you.
Actions For This Page
- A family members drug or alcohol use issues can affect all members of the family.
- Its ok to feel worried and stressed because of a family member’s drug or alcohol use.
- To access help for your family you can speak to your GP or call Directline to be linked to a support service close to you.
- DirectLine is a 24-hour alcohol and drug and alcohol counselling and referral service: 1800 888 236
- For young people up to the age of 25, call Youth Drug and Alcohol Advice : 1800 458 685 9am-8pm Mon-Fri
- You can also get help to support a family member who is experiencing addiction. Call Family Drug and Gambling Help: 1300 660 068
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What Is Enabling The Definition
Enabling means the family or friends of an addicted person help that person continue their addiction, often by not allowing that person to experience the consequences of their addiction.
Enabling can be spending money on a person with an addiction or buying them things that allow them to spend more money on drugs. It can also be making excuses for them and covering for them.
I often tell parents or family members of a person struggling with addiction that what they think they are doing to help their loved one is actually hurting them.
Behavioral Wellness Treatment In Missouri
Addiction is a highly treatable chronic illness. With the right resources and compassionate, respectful healthcare, you can recover.
Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center is based in Missouri, with locations in Maryland Heights, Missouri, and Kansas City Missouri. Utilizing a recovery-oriented system of care, we meet you where you are and create a personalized recovery plan that encourages a full, rich journey into long-term recovery for you and your family.
Our personalized continuum of services touches all points on the spectrum throughout recovery, offering you renewed personal hope, family healing, and reconnection within your community. From the time you come to us and for the rest of your lifelong recovery journey, you are an important, welcome member of our community a Member for Life!
Compassionate, evidence-based programs, therapies and services are available in all our facilities supportive, world-class environments:
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Roles In The Addicted Family
Here are a few of the most common roles played by family members in response to living with addiction. Keep in mind that family members may bounce between roles depending on circumstances.
The addicted loved one
- Alcohol and drugs become the primary way to cope with problems and difficult feelings. In turn, they will stop at nothing to supply this need, resulting in negative behaviors.
- Often viewed as getting all of the attention
- Struggles with honesty to support their drug use
- Family plans change due to crises involving this person
- This person serves as a protector and denier, and their main function is rescuer.
- They may unintentionally reinforce negative behaviors by doing for them what they can and should be doing for themselves.
- They may have a parent with addiction and learned this behavior in childhood.
- Comes from a need to feel important, no matter the cost.
- Often a parent, grandparent, or spouse
- Tries to create peace within the family by overcompensating and perfectionism
- Successful in almost everything, and doesnt take mistakes lightly
- Often does things for people without being asked
- Draws attention away
- Has a false belief: If Im good, they wont notice them
- Deflects stress by supplying humor
- Sometimes the youngest child
- Desperate for the approval of others
- Vulnerable and fragile
- Tries to ease tension and keep the peace
The Lost Child
Convincing Loved Ones To Seek Treatment
Finding a rehab center is half the battle. Convincing someone to seek treatment for addiction may take patience and dedication. Every persons reasons for avoiding rehab are different. However, families can encourage their loved ones to seek help.
For example, children can convince parents to go to rehab by explaining how drug use has affected their lives. Other loved ones can point out financial problems or legal issues caused by substance abuse.
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Why Is It So Important To Intervene In A Childs Substance Abuse
In our culture, substance abuse and public intoxication are frowned upon, yet at the same time, drinking alcohol and experimenting with drugs or alcohol are seen as rites of passage for young people. The parents of a high school boy who binge drinks on weekends might excuse his behavior by saying, Hes just sowing some wild oats. The overindulgent stepfather of a teenage girl who finds out that his stepdaughter is taking drugs might shrug and say, Shes just blowing off steam. School is stressful for her. These kinds of excuses may smooth over potential arguments in the short-term, but ultimately, they will only teach a child how to escape from stressful situations without accepting responsibility.
Repeated abuse of alcohol can harm the developing adolescent brain, resulting in memory problems, a shortened attention span, poor judgment, and poor academic performance. According to Merck Manual, alcohol abuse in young people also increases the risk of developing mood disorders or worsening the symptoms of psychological conditions that already exist. Alcohol and drug abuse also increases the risk of depressive thoughts, suicide attempts, and suicide.
Dos And Donts For Parents Of Addicted Adults
As a parent, you always have your childs best interests in mind, whether they are just learning how to walk, renting their first apartment, or raising their own children. Finding out that your child is struggling with addiction is heartbreaking regardless of their age, but confronting an adult son or daughter about their substance abuse comes with its own set of unique challenges. You may feel powerless to help them because they are old enough to make their own decisions or you may think that disciplining them wont have the same impact as it might have when they were younger. But these doubts dont erase your parental instinct to protect them when you sense they are in danger. In fact, discovering you are a parent of an adult addict makes you want to jump in and help fix things even more.
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Do Address The Behavior Rather Than The Person
Casting judgment on your addicted child will not mend your strained family dynamics, but its perfectly reasonable to point out how their actions are affecting you. This statement might look like, When I see you stay out late at night, Im worried for your safety. Focusing on how you feel reduces the chances of confrontation because your emotions are not up for debate. When you are finished sharing your thoughts, remember to listen and try to understand your childs perspective as well.
Help Get Family Support To Deal With A Drug Addicted Or Alcoholic Spouse
Addiction can take a toll on any marriage. It can create a variety of problems for couples including financial hardship, arguments, trust issues, legal problems, and codependent behaviors. Loving a spouse with a substance use problem creates a unique set of challenges that only a person who has experienced it firsthand can truly understand. Support groups can provide spouses of addicted loved ones with the support of a group of peers who can relate to their struggle.
All of the support groups listed above provide supportive services to spouses and other family members of addicted people.
There are also supportive programs available exclusively for spouses, including:
- Recovering Couples Anonymous: Recovering Couples Anonymous is a support program that uses the principles of AA but is not affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous. They provide support groups for any couple who is suffering from addictions or other dysfunctions that are impacting their relationships. The only requirement to join Recovering Couples is that the couple is committed to remain together, to work on improving their relationship, and to deepen their intimacy with one another. They are currently offering meetings in 15 U.S. states.
- Al-Anon for Spouses and Partners: In some locations, Al-Anon offers special support programs for spouses and romantic partners of individuals with alcoholism. Check their website to find out what programs may be available near you.
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Choosing A Rehab Program For A Child Or Teen
In the past, teenagers who needed substance abuse treatment had to enroll in the same rehab programs as older adults, with no special consideration for their stage of development. Today, substance abuse treatment professionals recognize that young people have special needs when it comes to rehab and recovery. While some children may require the intensive supervision of a 24-hour residential treatment facility, others may need to stay close to their parents by participating in outpatient recovery services or a partial hospitalization program. Academic obligations, job responsibilities, and extracurricular activities must also be taken into account. In choosing a rehab program, parents must consider not only the location, the length of treatment, and the availability of insurance coverage, but also the following factors:
The Dangers Of Enabling Addiction
Heres a basic example of just allowing a person using drugs to live with you. Typically, every dollar a person with an addiction can get their hands on goes to buying drugs. When you allow an addicted person to live with you rent-free, you are essentially giving that person $500 or more a month to buy drugs with. The U.S. had over 70,000 overdose deaths in 2017. You could be giving them the extra dollars they need to overdose and possibly die.
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Dont Ignore Your Own Needs
Its natural to feel worried about your child when they are struggling with a debilitating disease like addiction. Letting your fears consume you, however, will stand in the way of your own happiness and peace of mind. Get back to focusing on your hobbies and your passions. Over time, continuing to put your loved ones needs above your own will become exhausting and ultimately harm your mental health.
Addiction does not discriminate based on age, and many individuals develop substance use disorders later in life. Luckily, even if your adult son or daughter is battling addiction, they still have time to turn their life around. As much as you may want to shield your child from their inner demons, they need to make their own informed decisions. Nevertheless, as a parent who has known and cared for their child their entire lives, you can play a valuable role in encouraging them to be the best version of themselves.
Mountainside is proud to be 1 of only 7 addiction treatment centers in the United States to hold a 3.7 ASAM certification as well as dual accreditation from CARF International and The Joint Commission.